A Hybrid Imagination

A Hybrid Imagination

Technology in Historical Perspective

Andrew Jamison, Steen Hyldgaard Christensen, Lars Botin
ISBN: 9781608457373 | PDF ISBN: 9781608457380
Copyright © 2011 | 180 Pages | Publication Date: 01/01/2011

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This book presents a cultural perspective on scientific and technological development. As opposed to the "story-lines" of economic innovation and social construction that tend to dominate both the popular and scholarly literature on science, technology and society (or STS), the authors offer an alternative approach, devoting special attention to the role played by social and cultural movements in the making of science and technology. They show how social and cultural movements, from the Renaissance of the late 15th century to the environmental and global justice movements of our time, have provided contexts, or sites, for mixing scientific knowledge and technical skills from different fields and social domains into new combinations, thus fostering what the authors term a "hybrid imagination." Such a hybrid imagination is especially important today, as a way to counter the competitive and commercial "hubris" that is so much taken for granted in contemporary science and engineering discourses and practices with a sense of cooperation and social responsibility. The book portrays the history of science and technology as an underlying tension between hubris -- literally the ambition to "play god" on the part of many a scientist and engineer and neglect the consequences - and a hybrid imagination, connecting scientific "facts" and technological "artifacts" with cultural understanding. The book concludes with chapters on the recent transformations in the modes of scientific and technological production since the Second World War and the contending approaches to "greening" science and technology in relation to the global quest for sustainable development. The book is based on a series of lectures that were given by Andrew Jamison at the Technical University of Denmark in 2010 and draws on the authors' many years of experience in teaching non-technical, or contextual knowledge, to science and engineering students. The book has been written as part of the Program of Research on Opportunities and Challenges in Engineering Education in Denmark (PROCEED) supported by the Danish Strategic Research Council from 2010 to 2013.

Table of Contents

Perceptions of Science and Technology
Where Did Science and Technology Come From?
Science, Technology and Industrialization
Science, Technology and Modernization
Science, Technology and Globalization
The Greening of Science and Technology

About the Author(s)

Andrew Jamison, Aalborg University, Denmark
Andrew Jamison is professor of technology, environment and society at the Department of Development and Planning at Aalborg University and coordinator of PROCEED.He has a BA in history and science from Harvard University (magna cum laude, 1970) and a PhD in theory of science from Gothenburg University (1983).He has been teaching natural science and engineering students about the social and cultural contexts of science and technology since the early 1970s. Professor Jamison has published widely in the fields of science and technology policy and environmental politics and is the author, most recently, of The Making of Green Knowledge. Environmental Politics and Cultural Transformation (Cambridge University Press 2001) and, with Mikael Hard, Hubris and Hybrids. A Cultural History of Science and Technology (Routledge 2005).

Steen Hyldgaard Christensen, Aarhus University, Denmark
Steen Hyldgaard Christensen is senior lecturer at the Institute of Business and Technology in Herning,which is a part of Aarhus University,where he teaches literature and the history of ideas, research methodology and philosophy of science. He has an MA in Scandinavian Language and Literature and the History of Ideas,from Aarhus University.He has been the initiator and coordinator of three projects on engineering and culture, and he is the co-editor of Philosophy in Engineering (Academica 2005) and Engineering in Context (Academica 2009). He was the initiator of PROCEED and he is the editor in chief of the forthcoming book, co-sponsored by PROCEED, Engineering, Philosophy and Development: American, Chinese and European Perspectives, to be published by Springer Verlag.

Lars Botin, Aalborg University, Denmark
Lars Botin is an assistant professor at the Department of Development and Planning at Aalborg University, where he teaches theory of science and contextual knowledge to engineering students, and in a number of other departments,as well.He has an MA in art history from Aarhus University and a PhD from Aalborg University (2008), with a dissertation entitled, "A Humanist in the Hospital: Cultural Assessment of Electronic Health Records," in which he presents a phenomenological approach to ethnographic research, using a video observation methodology.

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